Ryde is a Singaporean startup that provides carpooling (RydePOOL), taxi (in partnership with Trans-Cab) and private-hire car (RydeX) services. Back in 2018 when Ryde rolled out RydeX in Singapore, people were immediately comparing it to ride-hailing giant Grab.
Today, Ryde has officially launched in Malaysia, but its service will only be operational starting November 1. If you’re a regular user of Grab rides, you might be curious what sort of differences there are between Grab and Ryde.
Here’s the thing though: Ryde will only be launching RydePOOL and RydePET (pet-friendly carpooling) for now, and in Klang Valley first. This already makes it pretty different from your regular Grab ride.
RydePOOL isn’t your average e-hailing service; it’s a carpooling service where you hitch a ride with a driver who already meant to head down a certain route.
For regular Grab rides, the driver will make their way over to your pickup point and drive you to your drop-off point, without any initial intention to go that way themselves.
While there was GrabHitch back in 2016 where users were encouraged to hitch a ride and carpool with each other, the service was defunct about a year later.
Although Ryde and Grab will be operating differently in Malaysia for now, we decided to do a quick comparison of what Ryde and Grab’s apps offer anyway.
Carpooling is supposed to be cheaper, since you’re splitting the cost of petrol and toll fares between the driver and passenger(s). RydePOOL will begin operating on a not-for-profit model, and the price passengers will pay takes into account the distance travelled, petrol, toll, and car depreciation costs.
For a ride from our office to Sunway Pyramid, RydePOOL would cost RM11.60. On the other hand, a JustGrab ride for 1 to 4 pax would cost us RM16.
While RydePOOL is cheaper, Ryde actually has an option for you to adjust the pricing, not lower, but higher. It says that bumping up the price may help your chances of getting a match, so depending on the drivers near you, you might end up paying the price of a JustGrab, or more.
RydePOOL riders will also only be able to pay in cash first.
2. Number Of Passengers
On RydePOOL, you can book a trip for up to 4 pax, and you manually input the number of passengers you’re booking for. This probably lets the driver know how many seats in their car are booked, and how many more passengers they can take on for the trip.
For Grab users, the exact number of passengers doesn’t really matter, since the choice of rides are generally for 1 to 4 or 6 pax. Users simply have to choose which car type they’d prefer.
3. Booking In Advance
You can schedule for a RydePOOL pickup from 3 minutes up to 7 days in advance.
On Grab, you’ll have to book a trip at least one hour before you want to leave, and also book 7 days in advance.
The fact that Ryde lets you schedule a ride for those I-need-to-leave-in-20-minutes trips is quite convenient, especially if you’ve just remembered that you have somewhere to be at the last minute. (Whether or not you’ll actually be able to find a match is another thing.)
4. Setting Your Work And Home
Like Grab, Ryde lets you set your work and home locations for ease of use, especially if you plan on using the service daily.
However, unlike Grab, Ryde offers you the extra option of setting the usual time that you leave home or work to make finding a commute easier.
5. Preferred Driver
If you had a particularly memorable carpool with a certain driver on Ryde, you can put in a Private Request to hitch a ride with them again.
You can also add drivers of past trips to your Favourite list so you can easily access them and send a Private Request.
At the moment of writing, Grab offers no such feature.
6. Pet-Friendly Carpooling
Granted, RydePOOL doesn’t let you ride with your pets in someone else’s car, but that’s what RydePET is for. The service is available in the same app, and you can bring your common household pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits, turtles, hamsters, birds in cages and fish in bowls or plastic bags.
This February, Grab launched GrabPet in Singapore. However, since it’s not yet available in Malaysia, RydePET offers a pretty good deal.
If we booked a RydePET trip from our office to Sunway Pyramid, it costs RM21.70. Other pet taxi services in KL and Selangor typically cost at least RM50, and can go up to RM2,500.
Carpooling doesn’t appear to be a very popular concept yet in Malaysia. GrabHitch lasted for only a year, and before it we had Tripda and Wunder in Malaysia.
US-based Tripda eventually shut down its operations globally. Wunder, a German startup for carpooling, entered Malaysia in 2017. There has been no news of it since then, and a quick check of my Apple Store confirmed that the app is no longer available for download.
One carpooling startup that has miraculously made it through the years is Malaysia’s own Droupr. Started in 2016, the startup is still operational to this day, though it appears to focus mostly on long-distance carpooling.
It will be interesting to see how RydePOOL fares in Malaysia, considering the common concerns Malaysians have about their safety and privacy.
There are probably more people who travel short distances than long (interstate) ones on the daily, so perhaps RydePOOL will be able to gain momentum in Malaysia.
- You can read more about other carpooling topics we’ve written about here.